"This type of behavior is not tolerated at Mizzou, and we understand how this impacts our entire community profoundly," the university's chancellor said.
The University of Missouri said the reference was "in poor taste."
Universities have gained a well-deserved reputation as some of the least free institutions in America.
"After 50 years of teaching at Harvard, I have never met a less courageous group of people than tenured faculty."
As Missouri's campus dealt with racial unrest, a pair of civil liberties found themselves at odds.
Faculty and students complain about his lack of responsiveness to racial incidents.